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Simplify And Save on Your Holiday Party: A Dessert Party

Inexpensive and time efficient, a holiday dessert party fits in with anyone’s busy December party plans. Everyone always has time to make one more last stop for something sweet. Serve a variety of desserts that would include pick ups, cold desserts such as trifles, and cakes. Make ahead what you can as most brownies, bar cookies and cheesecakes freeze well—and it’s fine to order from your favorite bakery to supplement homemade treats. Dessert parties are less expensive because of food cost, less drinking, and people don’t stay as long. (More entertaining cooking ideas can be found at at my blog

Decorations can be budget friendly by taking advantage of glitz and glitter using gold ornament balls of different sizes, cream colored assorted arranged candles and gold napkins, netting, and accessories, keeping flowers to a minimum. What to drink–have a coffee bar with flavored coffees condiments from sugar to mini-chocolate chips. Champagne in a flute with berries is a classic cocktail. (Check out more ideas at

I love to make trifles as you can make ahead of time, they serve a crowd, and make a wonderful presentation. Here’s my favorite holiday trifle which actually is my Red Velvet Cake recipe that flopped one time so I turned it into a trifle!

Easy Red Velvet Trifle

Perfect holiday dessert—with cake mix, berries and whipped topping. A classic Red Velvet cake turns into a trifle by layering cake, cream cheese icing, berries, and nonfat whipped topping in a trifle or glass bowl.

Makes 16–20 servings

1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
3 egg whites
1 (1-ounce) bottle red food coloring
1 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon vinegar
Cream Cheese Icing (recipe below)
1 quart strawberries, sliced
1 (12-ounce) container frozen non-fat whipped topping, thawed
1. Preheat oven 350°F. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In mixing bowl, combine cake mix, cocoa, oil, egg, egg whites, and food coloring. In small bowl, combine milk and vinegar, and add to mixing bowl. Mix until well combined.
3. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake 15–20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
4. In a trifle or glass bowl, layer half the cake, cream cheese icing, strawberries and whipped topping. Repeat Layers.

Cream Cheese Icing

1 (8-ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter
1 (16-ounce) box confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat until light. Add vanilla.

Calories 272, Calories from fat 29%, Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 4g, Cholesterol 23mg, Sodium 246mg, Carbohydrate 45g, Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 35g, Protein 3g

Diabetic Exchanges: 3 carbohydrate, 2 fat

About Author
Holly Clegg, the “Queen of Quick,” is author of the trim&TERRIFIC cookbook series including a diabetic cookbook with the ADA, Eating Well Through Cancer and KIDS COOKING for Mommies. Visit her website at and check out her blog .

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